Have too many for­got­ten?

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By FLORENCE KERR

A low turnout and dis­re­spect­ful driv­ers have dis­ap­pointed war vet­er­ans and sup­port­ers at an Armistice Day cer­e­mony last Thurs­day.

The Armistice day cer­e­mony which is held an­nu­ally at the Toko­roa Club, has seen de­clin­ing num­bers over the past decade.

Re­turned Ser­vice­men As­so­ci­a­tion mem­ber Cyril Al­lan, was philo­soph­i­cal about the low turnout.

‘‘I am dis­ap­pointed with the turnout. I would like to see more of the com­mu­nity com­ing down to pay re­spect for our fallen com­rades but I think the low num­ber of vet­er­ans and lack of knowl­edge has seen the de­cline in num­bers.’’

Re­tired Sal­va­tion Army Cap- tain Beryl Billing­ton shared Mr Al­lan’s sen­ti­ments adding, ‘‘all of London is shut down for two min­utes to pay re­spect for those that served dur­ing World War One. I think that is a prece­dent that needs to be set here in New Zealand.’’

Mrs Billing­ton was also dis­gusted with the ‘‘lack of re­spect’’ shown by driv­ers dur­ing the cer­e­mony.

‘‘I think these peo­ple (sol­diers) died for us, and for two min­utes each year we ask for si­lence to re­mem­ber them and these driv­ers just hoon around, our sol­diers died for us in­clud­ing them.

‘‘Where would our coun­try be if they had not fought for our free­dom and all we ask is that peo­ple show re­spect?’’

Mrs Billing­ton has sug­gested that Cham­bers Street be closed for five min­utes dur­ing the cer­e­mony, to dis­cour­age ‘‘dis­re­spect­ful be­hav­iour’’. Armistice Day ( also known as Re­mem­brance Day) com­mem­o­rates the armistice signed be­tween the al­lies in World War I and Ger­many at Com­piegne, France in 1918.

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